Oklahoma and Brent Venables in Bedlam battle for Class of 2025 in-state edge rusher and two-sport star

The No. 1 player in the state of Oklahoma, CJ Nickson, has narrowed his recruiting down to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
Head coach Brent Venables
Head coach Brent Venables / NATHAN J. FISH/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY

With the Oklahoma Sooners heading for the SEC, Bedlam is no more, at least for now. However, OU and Oklahoma State are still in fierce competition with Brent Venables and Porter Moser battling Mike Gundy and Steve Lutz for two-sport star CJ Nickson. 

Nickson, an Oklahoma native, is a 6-foot-6 220 edge rusher who intends to play both basketball and football at the next level. He has reportedly narrowed down his top two destinations to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State according to On3s Hayes Fawcett. 

Brent Venables is well on his way to a fourth-straight top 10 high school recruiting class in 2025 with the 12 players who have already committed to play for the Sooners, but there are still some big holes on his roster and in that class. The Sooners need to improve in the trenches to compete in the SEC and edge rusher has been a position of need in this recruiting cycle. 

Nickson’s lengthy frame and athletic background make him a perfect match for Venables, who has prioritized players with similar measurables at edge since his time as the defensive coordinator at Clemson. He would pair well with Adepoju Adebawore who emerged as the primary pass rusher in his true freshman season and would be the highest-ranked edge in Oklahoma’s 2025 class. 

While football is his primary sport, Nickson could help Porter Moser in the frontcourt, but would almost certainly be forced to decide between one or the other after his first year in Norman or Stillwater. 

It will be a few years before Oklahoma can avenge last season’s loss to the Cowboys on the football field, but a recruiting win of this magnitude, nabbing the No. 1 player in the state, is at least a hors d’oeuvre of revenge.

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